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Jeb Bush rode the housing bubble and got out at just the right time

All governors running for president end up running, to one extent or another, on their economic records. In the case of Jeb Bush, that's a record that coincides amazingly with the growth of a staggering real estate bubble in his state.

Obviously it would be a little silly to say that Jeb Bush caused the price explosion and it would be very silly to say that his departure from office caused the subsequent collapse.

But the house price boom was the fundamental fact of Florida economic policy during the Bush years. As Randall Holcombe, state fiscal policy analyst at the Mercatus Center, explains "a substantial amount of Florida's revenues come from sales taxes and documentary stamp taxes that are collected when the title to real estate is transferred" with both bolstered by the housing boom "because in Florida, construction materials are sales taxable."

Thanks to this revenue boom, Florida spending grew nearly 10 percent between the 2000-2001 budget and the 2006-2007 budget even as the Bush administration stuck to low tax principles. More recent governors, or simply governors of other states, haven't had quite the same good fortune.

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